Today in My History

2000:  Surrounded by Brasilians
2001:   Hellos and Goodbyes
2002:  (Semi-)Permanent Memorials
2003:  Finding My Inner Curmudgeon
2004:  Deja Vu All Over Again
2005:  Happiness is 2 Warm Puppies

2006: It Couldn't Happen Here
2007: I was the Youngest in the Room...

2008: Catalog Season
2009:  And Then There Were Two
2010:  Oogy
Sacred Cows
2012: My Hero

2013:  To Be Born Again
The Magical Elixer

2015  Sunday Stealing
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Updated 11/12
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15 November 2017

I love the Food Network.  Saturday is my day to indulge in a marathon of shows like the Pioneer Woman, Tricia Yearwood, the Barefoot Contessa, and The Kitchen (I miss Farmhouse Rules since they changed the schedule--it took me awhile to get used to Nancy Fuller's delivery, but I grew to look forward to her homespun cooking).  I didn't really like The Kitchen much, with four chefs making various things, while an audience applauds each new ingredient, or any recipe taken out of the oven (dumb!)  But lately I've learned a lot from offhand comments the chefs toss out from now and then.

Geoffrey Zakarian has changed my life.  Well, slightly.

I have loved pears all of my life but for the past many years, I never buy them because I'm usually disappointed.  They are either overripe and mushy or under ripe and too firm to have a good flavor.  When I really need a pear fix, I buy canned, but of course  that's nothing like the real thing.

However, awhile back. Zakarian made a comment that to check the ripeness of a pear, you don't feel the body of it, like you do an avocado, you check the flesh at the top, around the stem.  If that is soft, the pear is ripe (if the body is soft, the fruit is overripe and mushy).

Well, hello new world!  I have had an orgy of pears this season, no longer uncomfortable wondering whether or not a pear is ripe.  I haven't had a bad one yet.  Walt now buys several pears at the farmer's market each Saturday and I encourage him because I know that I will really enjoy them....and I do.

There is something so...sophisticated...about sitting down to a lunch of crackers, a wedge of brie and a delicious, perfectly ripe pear.

I have fleetingly thoughts of using my newfound pear knowledge to make something more fancy with the pears, but I like just plain pears too much to taint them with wine or something else.

Thanks to The Food Network, after 74 years I finally know how to cook a steak and have it turn out the way I want it to, without nervous guesswork, and I have even cooked pork chops that are not overcooked and dry. Chicken is no longer guesswork and Walt hasn't had to return a piece of chicken to the microwave to zap it in a long time.

It seems like such a simple thing, but I'm proud of myself.  You'd think that at my age, those things would come second hand to me, but they have not.  I'm better at the fancy stuff than the basics.

Tomorrow I am meeting with Ned and his friends Tom and Cottie Fay.  Tom Fay is the guy who wrote the Sacramento favorite "The Santa Rhumba," featured on a fund-raising Christmas CD recorded in 1994 that included Lawsuit's "The Grassy Knoel," certainly two of our must-hear pieces of Christmas music, along with Bing Crosby's "Jingle Bells"

Ned just created a new video of the Santa Rhumba (look for Ned in the silver suit)

Fay apparently hosts a fund-raiser for some Sacramento charity each Christmas season and this year, the recipient of the funds raised will be a local animal shelter.    Ned is not only helping to produce the show, but will also play in one of the bands, Preoccupied Pipers (which consists of some of the old members of Lawsuit).

Since he has a mom who works for 2 newspapers, he's hoping I can help get them some publicity, so I am meeting with them tomorrow  to interview both Ned and Tom and then write an article for both papers.  I don't have the OK from either paper, but I'm hoping I can write the article well enough that they will print it.



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